Pre HofftoExplore (thanks to my travel diary!) August 2013.
Day 1 London to Naples… our very non favourite place in the world
Off to Amalfi Coast, Italy! Cannot wait to get there! First stop Naples. Dislike. We got a taxi to the hostel which was on an uninviting street but after pressing the buzzer and heading up, the hostel was actually really cool! We were invited to join a few others sharing pasta for dinner and met another Aussie girl.
Afterwards, the receptionist gave us a few tips on where to go out so we set off with our map towards Old Town where apparently a lot of students go out. I was thinking maybe it will be more alternative. Well we got lost and had several random cars drive by slowly or pull up next to us with only guys inside and of course speaking to us in Italian. So, we headed back towards our hostel and in the other direction towards the Port which was supposed to be more quiet and family oriented.
We finally made it after more ‘car encounters’ and settled for some gelato near some live music. We checked out the map and realised how close we had been to the ‘no go zone’ that the receptionist had circled. No wonder it felt unsafe. Generally so far Naples appeared quite dirty with lots of graffiti. Definitely not what we had expected.
We kept exploring and eventually found a major party area. I couldn’t even tell you what it was called so I’ll describe it. It was a cluster of restaurants and bars, all playing different types of music. Almost all of them had people spilling out of them and onto the cobblestone pathways. In one section towards the back there was a live DJ with a growing crowd. Unfortunately with our walk back to the hostel and earlier experience, we didn’t even have one drink so we could stay alert! Which turned out to be necessary as we had a few guys walk along behind us for a while, asking us questions about ourselves. I answered a couple of their questions and then politely told them goodnight. They continued to walk behind us, asked if we wanted company, wanted to go for coffee etc. It turned into me telling them to go away, but they still walked along behind us and tried to engage us in conversation. We ignored them and one of the guys said that he had a chicken shop and we should meet him there in the morning. Robyn and I were trying not to laugh. They eventually went in a different direction to us. Never been so happy to get home from a night out! Tip – never walk alone!
Day 2 Escaping Naples
First thing this morning we had breakfast and headed to the bus to get the hell out of Naples. What a bus ride! Took about 3 hours to get to Positano. Our first bus driver was okay. But when we had to get off and change buses, our new bus driver was a little crazy. We were driving along the coast on the side of a mountain where the bus driver had to beep to let anyone around the corner know that we were coming. This one car obviously didn’t know the rules (possibly tourist) and kept coming. Well our bus driver didn’t like that. He got out of the bus, walked around to the car and punched off their rear view mirror! Wild! Thankfully we made it to Positano safely and had a quick foody stop before finding our accommodation.
It was a lovely place with a nice view, called Casa Teresa. From what we could tell, there were mostly Italians staying here. Robyn and I had a synchronized sleep then walked down 300 steps to the beach where we had a really bad pizza but then redeemed that experience with some relaxing in the beach chairs. After a few cocktails we went to find an alcohol shop which we did but it only sold wine and very large bottles of spirits. So we settled for a small bottle of limoncello, seeing as we were in Italy and all! We got ready to a few tunes and headed down to the beach front area buzzing with nightlife.
We had dinner at Chez Black then after working out where the Music on the Rocks club was for later, we went to the jetty where they have ‘cocktails in a cup’ for 4 euro. This is where we met Gennaro and Antonio, Bozza brothers. We meet Antonio again later in the story. We made our way to Music on the Rocks nightclub which was supposed to be 25 euro entry but we got in for freeeee! Robyn and I were dancing away and laughing at this guy on the stage dancing madly all over the place and I realised it was George! The guy I sat next to on the plane! He saw us and invited us into the VIP section where we danced away the rest of the night.
Robyn and I headed back up the 3242339 stairs to Casa Teresa and managed to get atleast 3 hours sleep (got home at 5am).
Day 3 Off to Capri!
After breakfast we headed to the jetty to catch the boat over to Capri. Weather started to look not so great but we were hopeful. Then it started to spit. Still hopeful. Got on the boat and it poured but we stayed up the top under some shelter with two other older Australians. We arrived at Capri and had a look around before stopping for lunch in one of the restaurants with the most enticing menu. Steak please! Not long after finishing lunch, a massive storm rolled in! We ended up all huddled under the outdoor restaurant roof, with our towels wrapped around us to keep us warm.
So this is what our day in Capri involved! We moved from that restaurant to another one when the rain slowed down for a bit. After a hot chocolate and falling asleep at the table it was time to catch the boat back to Positano. We met up with the two older Australians who said they caught the cable car up to the shopping area (didn’t even know about this?!). Ooh well they said they had to leave quickly anyway with the storm. And they were all expensive shops so it would have only been window shopping anyway!
Back at our accommodation we got ready to go out and decided to try the Mediterraneo restaurant we’d seen yesterday. Well what do you know, the waiter who came out to serve us was Antonio who we met at the jetty the night before. I’m pretty sure we got a good deal. Dinner and drinks were delicious. Once we’d finished, Antonio and another guy who worked there, gave us scooter rides down to the jetty! Was so much fun!
Our choice of venue was Music on the Rocks or Music on the Rocks so we went there for a while then called it a night.
Day 4 Sorrento then back to London
We decided after the scary bus trip to get to Positano, that we would catch a boat to get back to Naples, where our flight was leaving for London. To get there, we had to catch a boat to Sorrento first.
Which was perfect because Sven and Nick were there! Two of the aussie guys that we met in Croatia. Unfortunately Sven was up Vesevius mountain so we only saw Nick. After a fancy seafood lunch, Robyn and I joined them for a swim (first swim for the weekend!), some chill time in the beach chairs, bit of a chit chat then it was time to go! We got to Naples and went back to our favourite gelato spot at the Port, then caught the bus to the airport. Ciao!